2011: Radical new engines?

FIA president Max Moseley has proposed a ‘green revolution’ for Formula 1 starting in 2011. Proposals have recently been sent to all teams outlining the changes. The current V8 2.4 litre engines are due to be scrapped in favour of more eco-friendly 2.2 litre turbo-charged V6 engines, designed to run on biofuel and developing around 770 bhp – that’s around 100 bhp less than current engines.

Maximum revs are set to be restricted to 10,000 rpm, 9,000 less than the current limit, which would make the F1 cars a lot quieter than they are today as well as giving a predicted 30% saving on fuel consumption. Each engine would be expected to last 5 races, in contrast to the 2 expected of them this season. Traction control, four-wheel drive and a ‘power-boost’ button are also proposals which are being considered to help drivers overtake and help make the sport more exciting. Aerodynamic development may also be “severely constrained.”

“We are in active discussions with major manufacturers to ensure that in future, research and development relevant only to Formula 1 will be discouraged, whereas that which has relevance to road-car development will be encouraged,” Moseley explained. “We understand that such an approach has broad support from the competing manufacturers and we will work closely with them to ensure that in particular, the new environmentally relevant technologies that many of them are developing are made our priority.

“Whilst aiming to achieve these goals, we will ensure that the specatcle of F1 remains the same or is even improved by the new developments.”

The proposals were given to the teams by Moseley and Burkhard Goschel, the chairman of the Formula 1 manufactureres advisory commission. The proposals were within a document produced by FIA technical consultants Peter Wright and Tony Purnell.

Teams have not yet made their decisions on the proposals known. After receiving his proposal, Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren said, “McLaren’s view is not yet fully formed. I think you would have to say that on the face of it, these are very laudable propositions.

“However, I think we have been going through such a period of much change in Formula 1 – what with sealed engines in 2007, new electronic systems in 2008, energy recovery systems in 2009 and then more sweeping changes from 2011. Change is always very expensive in Formula 1. We understand that the sport must evolve, but we are concerned about the cost.”